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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Spain

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Spain
Definition Field Listing
Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power. Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). In the second half of the 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community. Continuing concerns are Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.
   Geography    Spain
Definition Field Listing
Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
40 00 N, 4 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 504,782 sq km
water: 5,240 sq km
note: there are 19 autonomous communities including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, and three small Spanish possessions off the coast of Morocco - Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
land: 499,542 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of Oregon
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,917.8 km
border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km
Definition Field Listing
4,964 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM (applies only to the Atlantic Ocean)
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Definition Field Listing
large, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees in north
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, lignite, iron ore, uranium, mercury, pyrites, fluorspar, gypsum, zinc, lead, tungsten, copper, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 28.6%
permanent crops: 9.56%
other: 61.84% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
36,400 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
pollution of the Mediterranean Sea from raw sewage and effluents from the offshore production of oil and gas; water quality and quantity nationwide; air pollution; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location along approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
   People    Spain
Definition Field Listing
40,077,100 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 2,993,747; female 2,812,498)
15-64 years: 68.1% (male 13,699,383; female 13,592,717)
65 years and over: 17.4% (male 2,922,452; female 4,056,303) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.09% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.29 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 79.08 years
female: 82.76 years (2002 est.)
male: 75.63 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.16 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.58% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
120,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
2,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Spaniard(s)
adjective: Spanish
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Definition Field Listing
Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Spain
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain
conventional short form: Spain
local short form: Espana
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary monarchy
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
19 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas, singular - comunidad autonoma); Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Ceuta, Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Melilla, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
note: three small Spanish possessions are located off the coast of Morocco: Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucemas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera
Definition Field Listing
the Iberian peninsula was characterized by a variety of independent kingdoms prior to the Moslem occupation that began in the early 8th Century A. D. and lasted nearly seven centuries; the small Christian redoubts of the north began the reconquest almost immediately, culminating in the seizure of Granada in 1492; this event completed the unification of several kingdoms and is traditionally considered the forging of present-day Spain
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Hispanic Day, 12 October
Definition Field Listing
6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system, with regional applications; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975); Heir Apparent Prince FELIPE, son of the monarch, born 30 January 1968
head of government: President of the Government Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996); First Vice President (and Minister of Interior) Mariano RAJOY (since 27 April 2000) and Second Vice President (and Minister of Economy) Rodrigo RATO Figaredo (since 5 May 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers designated by the president
note: there is also a Council of State that is the supreme consultative organ of the government
election results: Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (PP) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 44.54%; note - the Popular Party (PP) obtained an absolute majority of seats in both the Congress of Deputies and the Senate as a result of the March 2000 elections
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually proposed president by the monarch and elected by the National Assembly; election last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); vice presidents appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the president
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral; General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (259 seats - 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats; members are elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PP 44.6%, PSOE 34.1%, CiU 4.2%, PNV 1.5%, CC 1.1%, PIL 0%; seats by party - PP 127, PSOE 61, CiU 8, PNV 6, CC 5, PIL 1; Congress of Deputies - percent of vote by party - PP 44.5%, PSOE 34%, CiU 4.2%, IU 5.4%, PNV 1.5%, CC 1%, BNG 1.3%; seats by party - PP 183, PSOE 125, CiU 15, IU 8, PNV 7, CC 4, BNG 3, other 5
elections: Senate - last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); Congress of Deputies - last held 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Basque Nationalist Party or PNV [Xabier ARZALLUS Antia]; Batasuna [Arnaldo OTEGI]; Canarian Coalition or CC (a coalition of five parties) [Paulino RIVERO]; Convergence and Union or CiU [Jordi PUJOL i Soley, secretary general] (a coalition of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia or CDC [Jordi PUJOL i Soley] and the Democratic Union of Catalonia or UDC [Josep Antoni DURAN y LLEIDA]); Galician Nationalist Bloc or BNG [Xose Manuel BEIRAS]; Party of Independents from Lanzarote or PIL [Dimas MARTIN Martin]; Popular Party or PP [Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez]; Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE [Jose Luis RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO]; United Left or IU (a coalition of parties including the PCE and other small parties) [Gaspar LLAMAZARES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
business and landowning interests; Catholic Church; free labor unions (authorized in April 1977); Socialist General Union of Workers or UGT and the smaller independent Workers Syndical Union or USO; university students; Workers Confederation or CC.OO; Nunca Mais (Galician for "Not Again"; formed in response to the oil tanker Prestige oil spill)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Francisco Javier RUPEREZ
chancery: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670
telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador George L. ARGYROS
embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
mailing address: APO AE 09642
telephone: [34] (91) 587-2200
FAX: [34] (91) 587-2303
consulate(s) general: Barcelona
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (double width), and red with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band; the coat of arms includes the royal seal framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which are the two promontories (Gibraltar and Ceuta) on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar
   Economy    Spain
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Spain's mixed capitalist economy supports a GDP that on a per capita basis is 80% that of the four leading West European economies. Its center-right government successfully worked to gain admission to the first group of countries launching the European single currency on 1 January 1999. The AZNAR administration has continued to advocate liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy and has introduced some tax reforms to that end. Unemployment has been steadily falling under the AZNAR administration but remains high at 11.3%. The government intends to make further progress in changing labor laws and reforming pension schemes, which are key to the sustainability of both Spain's internal economic advances and its competitiveness in a single currency area. A general strike in mid-2002 reduced cooperation between labor and government. Adjusting to the monetary and other economic policies of an integrated Europe - and further reducing unemployment - will pose challenges to Spain over the next few years.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $828 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $20,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 4%
industry: 31%
services: 65% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 25% (1990) (1990)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
33 (1990)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
17.1 million (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 64%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 29%, agriculture 7% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
11.3% (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $105 billion
expenditures: $109 billion, including capital expenditures of $12.8 billion (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
textiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.2% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
211.64 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 57%
hydro: 12%
other: 3% (2000)
nuclear: 28%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
201.16 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
7.832 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
12.166 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
grain, vegetables, olives, wine grapes, sugar beets, citrus; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish
Definition Field Listing
$122.2 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, other consumer goods
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
EU 71.3% (France 19.5%, Germany 11.8%, Portugal 10.0%, Italy 9.0%, UK 8.9%), Latin America 6.1%,US 4.4%, (2001)
Definition Field Listing
$156.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods; foodstuffs, consumer goods (1997)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
EU 63.9% (France 16.8%, Germany 15.5%, Italy 9.1%, Benelux 7.3%, UK 7.0%), OPEC 7.3%, US 4.6%, Japan 2.5%, Latin America 4.2%
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$90 billion (1993 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $1.33 billion (1999)
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR); Spanish peseta (ESP)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by the financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions with the member countries
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); pesetas per US dollar - 149.40 (1998), 146.41 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Spain
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
17.336 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
8.394 million (1999)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: generally adequate, modern facilities; teledensity is 44 main lines for each 100 persons
domestic: NA
international: 22 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to adjacent countries
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 208, FM 715, shortwave 1 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
13.1 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
224 (plus 2,105 repeaters)
note: these figures include 11 television broadcast stations and 88 repeaters in the Canary Islands (1995)
Definition Field Listing
16.2 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
56 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
7.89 million (2002)
   Transportation    Spain
Definition Field Listing
total: 15,171 km
broad gauge: 12,781 km 1.668-m gauge (6,434 km electrified)
standard gauge: 525 km 1.435-m gauge (525 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,837 km 1.000-m gauge (617 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 346,858 km
paved: 343,389 km (including 9,063 km of expressways)
unpaved: 3,469 km (1997)
Definition Field Listing
1,045 km (of minor economic importance)
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 265 km; petroleum products 1,794 km; natural gas 1,666 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Aviles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Castellon de la Plana, Ceuta, Huelva, La Coruna, Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Malaga, Melilla, Pasajes, Gijon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands), Santander, Tarragona, Valencia, Vigo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 144 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,364,751 GRT/1,962,764 DWT
ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 31, chemical tanker 10, container 10, liquefied gas 2, livestock carrier 1, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 35, short-sea passenger 8, vehicle carrier 3
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Cuba 2, Denmark 1, Germany 7, Italy 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 6, Uruguay 3 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
133 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 93
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 27 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 59
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 43 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
7 (2002)
   Military    Spain
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Civil Guard, National Police, Coastal Civil Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 10,520,561 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 8,403,430 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 281,043 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$8.6 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.15% (2002)
   Transnational Issues    Spain
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Spain and UK are discussing "total shared sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of cession to Spain; Spain controls the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which Morocco contests, as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas; Morocco rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to explore undersea resources and to interdict illegal refugees from Africa
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
key European gateway country for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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